The road to success has many paths. For Devayani Pophali, Senior Director of Field Operations for Mallinckrodt’s Autoimmune and Rare Diseases (ARD) business, a core strategy has always been not to shy away from the challenges in her pathway. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) recently recognized Devayani as a Rising Star at its annual HBA Women of the Year Event in New York City, which drew more than 3,000 healthcare professionals from around the country.
Devayani has worked in Mallinckrodt’s New Jersey Specialty Brands headquarters since 2015 in a variety of roles involving incentive compensation and ARD sales operations. A look inside her story offers a few lessons in leadership:
Show courage, drive change
Devayani has a willingness to continuously take on challenges beyond her job. “I’ve never been afraid to try new things,” said Devayani. “There is always an opportunity to do more at Mallinckrodt – you just have to be willing to raise your hand and ask for it.”
Exert positive influence, be deliberately inclusive
One of Devayani’s proudest Mallinckrodt accomplishments is her Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) leadership role. “I’ve always been passionate about diversity issues, especially on the topic of giving women equal opportunities,” said Devayani. When Mallinckrodt first increased its presence in New Jersey, she asked to lead its I&D efforts, which now has several highly engaged Business Resource Groups (BRGs). Its Women in Business, Emerging Leaders and Veterans Groups hold regular educational sessions and are active in the community.
Be self aware and resilient
“I developed an independent, competitive mindset at an early age, thanks to my parents. As a little girl growing up in India, my parents made sure I never felt inferior to anyone else. They encouraged me to pursue my passions and not let negative opinions get in the way,” said Devayani. “Having the right mindset can make or break your success. Don’t let the naysayers bring you down.”
Own your personal development
Hard work and determination have taken Devayani far, but she is quick to say she didn’t do it alone. She points to her manager and mentor with teaching her valuable lessons, as just one example.
“I’m lucky to have had great role models, but sometimes you have to seek them out,” added Devayani. “That’s one of the great things about HBA –it gives you access to a powerful, supportive network of peers across the industry. It’s inspiring to hear how other women are helping their organizations better serve patients and their communities.”
Devayani has been a member of HBA since joining Mallinckrodt, and at various points earlier in her career. Mallinckrodt has been a national sponsor of HBA since 2015. Nearly 100 women were honored for achievements in healthcare at HBA’s Women of the Year event, either as a Rising Star (those in the first 20 years of their career) or a Luminary (those with more than 20 years of industry experience).